Ah, it hurts so good (just keep telling yourself that). While sharp or shooting pain usually signals an injury worth listening to, feeling more general body soreness a day or two after a tough workout is perfectly healthy. Here’s how getting stronger works: When you push your body to do something it’s not used to, like use an 8-pound dumb-bell for an arm exercise you used to do with a 5-pounder, the extra push actually damages your muscle, creating little microtears.
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But don’t worry—that’s not a bad thing. The healing process that follows is what leaves your muscle stronger and more toned than when you began. Unfortunately, nothing but time can heal those soreness-inducing tears, but there are some things you can do to feel better in the meantime.